IVOA Landing page review (Sep 2022)

From Bruce for the Exec: Does the web page design and content convey the sense that the IVOA is an important and dynamic body in astronomy?

Current link: https://www.ivoa.net

Draft link: https://sdc-dev.astron.nl/ivoa_web

Christophe's summary of the main comments

  • Overall the new layout is a step forward, more visible and fast access to relevant information
  • Image is nice, but it takes too much space and does not really reflect what IVOA does
    • Alternative suggestion: we keep this space and put 1-6 IVOA relevant images (i.e. IVOA vision/purpose, Architecture diagram, Success story (visual), Apps snapshots, ...) ?
  • IVOA News: OK but needs to be regulary updated.Upcoming meetings: should we merge with News ?
    • Add here all recent REC, upcoming meetings, IVOA Newsletters, VO workshops in national projects, VO apps new release, ... ?
    • Should be enough material for more regular news
    • Who will update this ?
  • 4 boxes at the bottom are good to easily and quickly get to the relevant information
    • About IVOA should be on the left
    • We could review the link in all the boxes
  • (from TCG meeting on 7th May: Make the IVOA Code of Conduct more visible and directly accessible from the IVOA home page)

Comments: (add bullet and comments below)

  • JE
    • I think it looks better overall.
    • The current page had 2 sets of pointers (top and bottom) to the underlying groups & questions - that could cause confusion and the new page gets it to one.
    • I think the IVOA News and Upcoming Meetings could use a different font/size/spacing to make them stand out more.
    • I’m not a fan of flipping pictures and suggest that changing images is by hitting the arrow if you are interested to see them.
    • The banner with International Virtual Observatory Alliance needs a brief statement … something like - “Building FAIR standards for access and analysis of astronomical data.” I think it grounds people when they come to the landing page to know where they are.
  • TJ
    • Pretty. But on my screen, the lovely JWST image takes up all the space so you have to scroll down to get anything else. It should be smaller.
    • With some of that space, a snapshot of something pretty from the newsletter would be good to add in the news box.
    • Also agree it is missing a brief statement of purpose.
  • ACR
    • Overall: I think it is a very good evolution of the current home page for a contemporary audience of both current members/users and newcomers.
    • Information content:
      • I like the layout of the boxed menus. I hadn't realized some of these things were on the current home page until I went back and checked. (I tend to ignore small print on web pages, and when there's a lot of print I skim for key terms and ignore sentences entirely.)
      • I like "News", but it needs to be kept current. When I see a website - incluing my own - advertising something that happened even two months ago as "News" I immediately think that the website maintenance is suspect, at best. It undermines my confidence in the site as a whole. It's picky, I know, but it does. Every time. So having a "News" box is very good, but it requires a commitment to regular updates. If the intention is to follow the update pattern of the current page, then a little tweaking of the "News" box title would be in order.
      • The page is reasonably accessible as far as it goes - pretty good contrast, not too many words. If we follow through on the accessibility considerations for links, images, and the hamburger menu and this will be a fairly accessible page, if mildly long to listen to through a screen reader. Yay!
      • However, it does not adapt to small screens well as it is - perhaps because it's just a quick mockup. As I explain to my colleagues, I do not expect people to be running IVOA apps on their phones, but I do expect them to check out the home page on their phones when they see something interesting mentioned in a meeting. So the home page and news feed, at least, should be adaptable to small screens.
    • Aesthetics. This is not my forte, and this is only a mock-up, of course, so I will describe what I thought as I looked at the page for the first time as a sort of case study on the effect of banner images.
      • My first thought was, "That's a really nice image".
      • My next thoughts were, "I wonder who did the false-color?", "Is that a Hubble image, or JWST? There's no image credit...", "Those wisps near the edge of the cloud are really interesting.", "The diffraction pattern on the stars is quite a nice effect.", "Oh, look - the diffraction patterns amplify some of the effects of seeing the stars throught the cloud", "Huh, the background stars seem to show some trailing - that's weird. They can't all be galaxies oriented in the same direction. I wonder if it's a lens effect or a processing artifact?", "Wait a minute, why am I looking at this page? Oh, right. Where's the IVOA logo?".
      • So, while I like a nice hero image as much as the next person, the primary take-away in this case is that this image doesn't really having anything to do with what IVOA is or does, and it makes the little black banner at the top, which carries the organizational identity, nearly invisible. I would recommend that whatever image(s) we end up with actually say(s) something about the IVOA - preferably something memorable.
      • Consequently, I think it would be worth investing resources in developing some graphics that convey something of the IVOA story. Perhaps this could be handled hackathon fashion at the Spring Interop - offering some nominal prize to the winners (dinner, round of drinks, an epic poem composed in their honor, etc.).
  • MCD
    • the aesthics are, overall, much better!
    • I also find that the image takes up the majority of the screen space, relegating the actual content to secondary status that I have to scroll to see.
      • and agree with ACR that the image is so impressive, that it becomes somewhat distracting. After admiring the image, you scan the page to remind yourself where you were going. The words on the left are so very long.. I didn't really take in that this was telling me the organization!. I wonder if centering the words, and bookending with the logo would be an improvement?
    • I like the boxed segments, this does make it easier to find content..
      • I went through the main page recently to get to the the docs and standards page, and it actually took me a while to find it under the "For Deployers/Developers" heading.
      • I agree that some change to font or something could make that section look more appealing, its a bit drab(?).
  • AD
    • I also agree that it's a step in the righ direction with information easier to locate
    • The current image is nice but overwhelming in size. I would suggest a similar, but maybe smaller and possibly more relevant image that includes a short (2 line) IVOA statement with a button/link to more details that would open to the current (or similar) About page.
    • I don't think "About IVOA" has the same importance as the 3 For and I would remove it from here especially if it's link from the "About" button above
    • I agree that News needs to be kept current: interrops, new specs, etc. That would work in a image train that automatically scrolls.
  • MBT
    • I agree with others about the image: something wide but short would be more convenient, and although it's a nice astronomy image, it doesn't really say "VO".
  • LM
    • A big leap forward
    • The JWST image covers most of the landing screen forcing users to scroll down to find content access. This is very trendy nowadays, but I find it impractical. I would prefer a smaller image (set of participant logos ?) letting entry points visible.
    • The "For" prefix in 3 frames is useless. I prefer to see e.g. Members instead of For Members
    • It is a bit strange to see the IVOA newsletter topic into the Astronomer box. The newsletter is for everyone, it is already mentioned in IVOA News furthermore.
    • From a aesthetic point of view, I'm not very enthousiastic with the access frame layout, but it has the big advantage of being easily readable.
  • AN
    • The IVOA logo is too small.
    • Tho the chosen picture is pretty this doesn't reflect much of IVOAs doing. Plus this is supposedly only one among several. How and by whom are these pics chosen & updated? As an idea: pics from last interop presentations - cons: requires an action after each interop, pros: uptodate and based on IVOA stories.
    • The webpage doesn't point to anything in particular. But I guess this is just for now, until the page gets accepted, and that the links are the ones we have at the moment.
  • ACC
    • IVOA logo too small - looks better on the current page!
    • JWST image is pretty but takes up too much real estate on the page so that the useful information is tucked away at the bottom of the page. Could it be set as a transparent background maybe?
    • other aspects of the page look good
  • RN
    • Landing page: too much space taken by the (beauitiful) JWST image. I'd personally prefer the content (links) much sooner.
    • Image has left/right arrows, implying maybe an image caroussel. But clicking on the arrows has no effect.
    • This is likely very browser-dependent, but on my desktop the initial fontsize is a tad on the small side.
    • Since the links don't work yet, I'm not sure what's behind "Getting started", but maybe that's where the "VO vision / mission statement" goes that others have mentioned above?
    • Imagining coming to the IVOA website as a (non-astronomer) S/W engineer (I'm parroting a S/W eng colleague here), I'd be first and foremores interested to find a "practical intro" to using, and to contributing, to VO-compliant S/W development. Not clear where this could be. Maybe in the "Guide to publishing in the VO"? What does "publishing" mean then?
    • Since this is the public-facing IVOA website, I think the "For Members" section should be just a single link to a members-only section, and not take the same fraction of the landing page as the other sections.
    • I think the "About IVOA" section (currently rightmost) should come first (leftmost).
    • As a new visitor to the page, I reallty don't know what the "Read more" buttons at the end of each section lead to. Is it just more links? Text?
    • Overall design is very nice and simple enough (which looking modern).


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Topic revision: r15 - 2023-05-07 - MarcyHarbut
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